DRINK DIFFERENT - PACHERENC DU VIC-BILH
Very much one of the wines of the moment, Picpoul de Pinet was virtually unknown in this country as recently as the turn of the century. Astutely marketed as the ‘Muscadet of the south’, it comes from around the Thau lagoon just inland from the Languedoc port of Sète, and with its fresh, minerally character and citrus tang, it is a perfect foil for seafood of all types, and shellfish in particular.
Like many wines before it, Picpoul has become a bit of a victim of its own success. There are some great examples around, like the Domaine Morin Langaran pictured here that we serve at The Last, but equally there are some more mundane versions appearing on the market.
A good alternative is a similarly minerally white from the southwest of France, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, made in the Madiran wine-growing area. They also make sweet whites, but it is the sec you are after to replace your Picpoul: dry, fresh, and with a lovely orangey back flavor.